Doctor: Pandemic not prompting a baby boom

Coronavirus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Maybe you’ve noticed pregnancy announcements or gender reveal photos on your Facebook feed lately. It can often seem like a lot, but doctors say there is not a baby boom.

There have actually been fewer pregnancies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say.

“I had a lot of friends calling me for investment opportunities for the upcoming baby boom and I said, ‘Not so fast,'” Dr. John LaGrand, who owns Advanced OB-GYN in Grand Rapids, said.

“Everybody expected it because we figured people would have a lot of time with nothing to do, everybody would be home,” he continued. “But as we’ve discovered in the long term, that might not be the best thing for relationships and it certainly hasn’t been the best thing for the birth rate — at least in West Michigan.”

Metro Health-University of Michigan Health says it handled 144 births in November 2019. There were 116 this November. December is on pace to show a similar decline.

Those numbers show only pregnancies that began near the very start of Michigan’s virus outbreak.

LaGrand said his office is currently seeing about half the normal number of pregnant patients.

“A lot of women voted very realistically to say, ‘Wait a minute, not right now. I don’t know where this is going and this is not what I want to bring a baby into,'” he said.

He said people may be waiting to have a child or have decided to keep their families small.

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